I won’t be blogging through the holidays, but I wanted to leave you with an editorial that struck me from Rev. Jesse Jackson this week in the Chicago Sun-Times. It describes the parallels between Jesus’s birth and the current climate of oppression for religious minorities, as well as how Christmas has largely lost its sacred meaning in today’s world:
Now, of course, Christmas has become a holiday, more secular than sacred. Too many of us stretch our budgets not to lift those in need but to buy baubles for families and friends. Christmas often means more debt until Easter. It has become a marketing scheme, a time of malls and sales, of come-ons and discounts. But we should not allow Jesus the Christ, the redeemer, the emancipator to be displaced by Santa the Claus, and more debt and unaffordable things.
Let us use this holy day to reassess where we are. We are spending trillions in wars without end. Inequality has reached extremes not witnessed since the eve of the Great Depression. We continue to lock up more people than any nation in the world. On an average day, 27 people die from gun violence in the United States; in Canada and other western nations, the average is fewer than five per day.
Yet, as Jackson writes, the message of the holiday is that “people of conscience can make a difference, even against the most powerful oppressor” and that our leaders should exercise “the power of summoning our better angels, rather than rousing our fears or our divisions.” It’s worth reading the whole thing, as the holiday season approaches.
I’ll be back blogging in the new year.